Monday, August 8th, 2022

Baton Rouge, Louisiana


 Here’s my question to you in this week’s column. Do you feel lucky? Not the luck you would want if you were confronted by Dirty Harry. Remember Clint Eastwood’s words: “You’ve got to ask yourself one question: ‘Do I feel lucky? Well do you punk?’ “  No I mean positive “feel good luck” of decent things happening to you.

 I’m more of a live and let live kind of guy. Just roll with the punches as events happened in my life, whether good or bad. And I’ve had both.  Sure, I want worthy things to happen for me, my family, and my friends. But I generally don’t hope for some special event to happen that will dramatically change my life.

Actually, I am a pretty lucky guy. At 82, I’m in good health and am able to work out rigorously each day.  I enjoy a large family with seven smart grandchildren and assorted other nieces, nephews and great grandkids that are a part of my daily life.  And I get to rant and rave with you readers in my weekly column.

But then I passed by this billboard. It was for the Mega Lottery a few weeks ago.  I don’t usually buy lottery tickets. Seems like a waste of money.  But what got my attention was the amount of the next drawing.  $1.3 billion.  That’s right. Billion with a B. How could any drawing get that big? And what would an average guy like me do with the winnings? 

Hey maybe I am a little luckier than I thought. So what are the odds of my winning? I immediately got on my computer to compare my chances.  Let’s see, the odds of my winning more than a billion dollars was quoted as 1 in 302.6 million.  Hum!  Not good news.  Then the comparison of odds got worse for me.

I learned that I’m 70 times more likely to be killed by a shark then to win the lottery. The odds for a shark attack are only 1 in 4.3 million. I do like to go to the beach occasionally, so I wish these odds were higher.

I also learned that according to the National Weather Service, I was 216 times more likely to be struck by lightning this year, with the odds being 1 in  1.2 million. I further discovered that I was 3,300 times less likely to be hit by space junk. Space junk? I better start walking outside with a steel  enforced umbrella.

But what if, just what if, I bought a two dollar ticket and won? Nothing wrong with dreaming a bit. What would I do with over $1 billion? So I made a list.

The first thing I would do would be to fix everything broken on my 2011 SUV. It would be a treat not to have to take it to the shop so much. Second, I would put an ATM machine in my kitchen because I’m always short of cash.  Third, I would rest up, so when my winnings were announced, I’d be ready for the big surge of relatives and friends who would immediately come to pay their respects.

Seriously, at my age I don’t really have any burning desire to acquire any more material things. I would set up trust funds for my kids, grandkids, nieces and nephews and assorted other relatives.  With the rest of my winnings, I would create the Brown Family Trust to disperse needed financial help to a number of charities and nonprofits. There sure is such a need here in the Bayou State, one of the poorest states in the nation.

Actually, just being an American living in the USA has allowed me to win first prize in the lottery of life. And with an exceptional family included in my mix, I do feel quite lucky. I’m a winner without all that lottery money. So take that Dirty Harry.

Peace and Justice

Jim Brown

Jim Brown’s syndicated column appears each week in numerous newspapers throughout the nation and on websites worldwide.  You can read all his past columns and see continuing updates at http://www.jimbrownusa.com. You can also look over a list of books he has published at www.thelisburnpress.com.


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